UFC 152: Who is the Real Champion?
After the tumultuous events that took place leading up to UFC 151 and eventually leading to the event’s cancellation we are left with one of the most decorated and legendary Champions in the history of the UFC taking on the man who is trying to validate his championship after the events that left him in a bad position with both the UFC as well as fans of mixed martial arts in general. In the main event, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort looks to become a two time champion in the light-heavyweight division against Jon “Bones” Jones. In the co main event, a new champion will be crowned as dynamic striker and grappler Joseph Benavidez takes on the fastest fighter in mixed martial arts “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson for the inaugural Flyweight Championship. And two powerful strikers collide as Britain’s Michael “The Count” Bisping takes on “All-American” Brian Stann with the winner moving one step closer to a shot at the middleweight championship.
The Phenom vs. the Chump:
Former Heavyweight Tournament Champion, Former Light-Heavyweight Champion, and legend of the octagon, Vitor Belfort challenges the man without a spine and claiming to be a champion, Jon Jones. One of the most beloved and dynamic fighters in UFC history takes on a hypocrite and a coward in Jon Jones. Jones has been excessively scrutinized for his refusal to fight Chael Sonnen, the initial last minute replacement for Dan Henderson. Jones has further buried himself with hypocritical statements such as stating that he did not want to fight Machida because of the fact that when he faced Machida at UFC 140, it was a considerably lower pay per view buy rate. This seems rather inquizative considering the fact that Chael Sonnen is one of the biggest PPV drawers in mixed martial arts history.
Then Jones later blamed his “free Saturday,” a gesture to September 1st, the date of UFC 151, to “the old man and his knee,” referring to Dan Henderson’s knee injury. This again is rather inquizative considering the fact that he pulled out of a scheduled fight with Rashad Evans due to a hand injury and then faced Rampage Jackson. Jones stated that he would bare the cross of his mistakes. This is not a man, this is a delusional individual. You can make all the religious references that you want but it doesn’t change the fact that you are a coward and need to prove the world wrong.
The last time Belfort fought for a championship was at UFC 126 an he suffered a loss at the hands of pound for pound best, Anderson Silva, in what was one of the greatest knockouts of all time. Belfort has since rebounded knocking out Yoshihiro Akiyama in the first round at UFC 133 and submitting Anthony Johnson at UFC 142 via rear naked choke. Now Belfort is stepping up to the light heavyweight division and taking on their champion because Dana White called for someone who would fight and replace MMA legend Dan Henderson in his scheduled fight against Jon Jones. Meanwhile Jones had impressive title defenses against Quinton Jackson in which he won via submission, Lyoto Machida by guillotine choke, and Rashad Evans by decision. This is an important fight for both men because they both have something to prove. Belfort needs to show that he still has it and can still be a champion at the latter part of his career, while Jones needs to validate that he is not a coward and indeed a champion. Jones has much more to lose in this match than Belfort because Belfort is moving up a weight class on short notice and Jones NEEDS to win in order to maintain his rankings among the elite of the fighting world as well as proving that he is a man.
Stylistically this is a very interesting match up. Belfort has some of the best boxing and the fastest hands in mixed martial arts and his speed will carry over very well to the light heavyweight division. Belfort is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has very slick submissions and ground skills. Jones has an incredible reach advantage over every single fighter he competes against and has very dynamic striking as well as having a very good wrestling and submission game. Both men are very well rounded. I would give a striking advantage to Belfort because of his speed and accuracy. The wrestling advantage goes to Jones, and I would give a slight advantage to Belfort on the ground. I don’t believe that this fight will go the distance and I firmly believe that the man will overcome the boy. Vitor Belfort wins via KO.
For the first time in UFC history a 125 pound champion will be crowned as the two best Flyweights in the world collide in what is expected to be a nonstop action packed fight as Joseph Benavidez takes on Demetrious Johnson. If any fight has a chance of being fight of the night, it is this fight right here. Benavidez has only lost two fights in his career and both of them were to current UFC Bantamweight Champion, Dominick Cruz, when he still fought at 135 pounds. Benavidez has shown that he has tremendous power in his fights against Miguel Torres, Eddie Wineland, and his knockout victory over Yasuhiro Urushitani. He has also utilized tremendous submission skills in his win over Miguel Torres. Benavidez is also a tremendous wrestler and has dynamic takedowns and ruthless ground and pound.
On the other hand, the top ranked Flyweight in the world, Demetrious Johnson has proven his worth with victories over Miguel Torres and Ian McCall and impressive bouts against Dominck Cruz and Brad Pickett. Johnson is undoubtedly the fastest fighter in mixed martial arts both in the striking and wrestling realm. Johnson utilizes excellent take down defense as well as crisp boxing and kick boxing and has showed that he has good power in the Flyweight division. Stylistically speaking, this fight is going to come down to the nitty gritty. I would give a slight striking advantage to Johnson because of his speed, but at the same time Benavidez has unbelievable power and if he lands hard, he can knockout Johnson with one shot. I give the wrestling advantage to Benavidez as well as the ground advantage to Benavidez. This fight will not go the distance, and will be a closely contested fight throughout. I see Benavidez utilizing his power and technique to win. Joseph Benavidez wins via TKO
James Bond vs. Captain America:
In a pivotal middleweight contender fight two of the top strikers in the division will go toe to toe as Michael Bisping takes on Brian Stann with the winner moving one step closer to a title shot. Michael Bisping has proved that he can take on the top of the division and hold his own. Bisping is one of the best scramblers in the UFC and has an incredible all around well-rounded game. Brian Stann on the other hand has shown that he has tremendous knockout power being only one of two men, the other being Anderson Silva, to knock out perennial contender, Chris Leben. This will be a stand up war for sure and it is a question of who will break the other man first. If at any point Bisping feels like he is loosing the stand up war, he can easily take Stann down because his grappling and wrestling are a lot tighter and superior than Stann’s but Stann has good submissions and can defend off of his back.
When you look at these two’s stand up games, Bisping is the more disciplined strikers and Stann has more power. Both men utilize kicks and knees as well as punches so it is safe to say that this will stay in the stand up, but if anyone takes it to the ground it will be Bisping. I believe that Bisping has the advantage on the feet and will create angles and pick his shots and be the more disciplined striker, but it will only take one punch from Stann to change everything so it’s anyone’s fight to win, but I will have to give it to the more disciplined striker. Bisping wins via Decision